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Book of Hours: MS 144

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours


Author: Grote, Geert
Artists: Masters of the Dark Eyes




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + i contemporary parchment flyleaf + 163 fols. + ii paper flyleaves, 189 x 137 (108 x 71) mm, 19 long lines, ruled in pink ink, quire and leaf signatures.

BINDING: 18th century, gold-tooled brown leather over pasteboards, titles on spine in Dutch.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fols. 14r – 45v Hours of the Virgin; fols. 46r – 52v Prayers for Communion and indulgence; fols. 53r – 54r Prayers of St Gregory; fol. 54r Suffrage to St Lawrence; fols. 55r – 74r Hours of the Cross (Sext to Compline, with illustrations in the margin, missing after fol. 69); fols. 74v – 75v Prayer on the Name of Jesus; fols. 76r – 89v Penitential Psalms and Litany; fols. 90r – 101v Prayers to the Virgin, Guardian Angel and Saints; fols. 103r – 126v Hours of the Holy Spirit; fols. 128r – 160v Office of the Dead
fols. 160v – 163v Suffrages.

DECORATION: Three full-page framed miniatures with full borders combining strewn-flower and ornamental panels with scenes related to the main theme at major text divisions: fol. 13v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, Annunciation, Adoration of the Child in border; fol. 102v Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost; fol. 127v Office of the Dead, Raising of Lazarus.

Twenty-two historiated initials [4 – 13 ll.] usually formed of gold or grey acanthus on red, blue or green grounds, with full borders identical with those surrounding the full-page miniatures; the same borders with scenes accompany lesser text divisions not marked by historiated initials: fol. 14r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [H, 13 ll.] Virgin and Child, Tree of Jesse in border; fol. 21r Lauds, [G, 4 ll.] Circumcision, Adoration of the Magi in border; fol. 28r Prime, [G, 5 ll.] Presentation in the Temple; fol. 31r Terce, [G, 5 ll.] Massacre of the Innocents, in border Herod with soldiers, Miracle of the Harvest, Flight into Egypt; fol. 33r Sext, [G, 6 ll.] Christ among the Doctors, Marriage at Cana in border; fol. 35v None, [G, 5 ll.] Baptism of Christ, three Temptations of Christ in border; fol. 38r Vespers, [G, 7 ll.] Transfiguration, in border Christ and Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene washing Christ’s feet; fol. 42v Compline, [B, 6 ll.] Raising of Lazarus, in border Entry into Jerusalem, Christ chasing Pharisees from Temple; fol. 53r Prayers of St Gregory, [O, 8 ll.] bust of Christ crowned with thorns, angels with Instruments of the Passion in border; fol. 54r St Lawrence as deacon holding book and gridiron in border; fol. 55r Hours of the Cross, Matins, [W, 13 ll.] Christ blindfolded and beaten, in border Christ before Caiaphas, Christ taken from one judge to the next, Christ before Annas; fol. 60v Lauds, in border Judas returning money bag, Suicide of Judas; fol. 63v Prime, in border Christ before Pilate, Christ before Herod, Christ stripped by tormentors; fol. 65r Terce, in border Pilate washing his hands, soldiers bringing Cross to Christ; fol. 74v Prayer on the Name of Jesus, [O, 6 ll.] Christ Child with orb and two angels, Evangelists’ symbols in border; fol. 76r Penitential Psalms, [H, 13 ll.] David enthroned with harp, in border young David fighting lion, young David being dressed in adult armour before Saul; fol. 77r in border David slinging at Goliath; fol. 78r in border David beheading Goliath, David with Goliath’s head welcomed by women playing music before gates of Jerusalem; fol. 79r in border David let down from
window by Michal; fol. 80v in border Coronation of David, David watching Bathsheba bathing; fol. 82v in border David giving letter to Uriah, David penitent; fol. 94r Prayer to the Virgin, in border Virgin and Child with angels; fol. 99r Prayer to the Guardian Angel, [O, 6 ll.] Angel; fol. 100r Prayer to St Martin, [H, 6 ll.] St Martin dividing cloak; fol. 100v in border St Mary Magdalene with ointment jar; fol. 101r in border St John the Baptist blessing lamb on book; fol. 103r Hours of the Holy Spirit, Matins [H, 13 ll.] Instruments of the Passion, cup on rock, Three Women and St John; fol. 111r Lauds, in border Annunciation of the Virgin’s Death; fol. 114r Prime, in border Virgin on deathbed; fol. 116v Terce, [G, 6 ll.] St Peter blessing Virgin and other apostles; fol. 118v Sext, [G, 5 ll.] Apostles at Virgin’s deathbed; fol. 120r None, [G, 5 ll.] Death of the Virgin; fol. 122r Vespers, in border Miracle of the Jew’s hands stuck to Virgin’s coffin; fol. 124v Compline, [B, 5 ll.] Burial of the Virgin; fol. 128r Office of the Dead, [I, 12 ll.] Souls engulfed in flames; fol. 160v Suffrages, [C, 6 ll.] group of saints; fol. 162r in border St Catherine reading, sword and wheel on ground; fol. 162v [O, 5 ll.] St Barbara with tower; fol. 163r in border St Agnes reading, with lamb.

ORNAMENTATION: Gold initials [6 – 9 ll.] filled with floral designs or liquid gold and white tendrils on gold, red and blue grounds, with full borders combining strewn-flower and ornamental panels; gold or orange acanthus initials [4 – 6 ll.] on pink or green grounds with full borders combining strewn-flower and ornamental panels; blue or red initials [4 – 6 ll.] on gold or blue grounds or gold initials on blue and red grounds; gold initials [1 – 3 ll.] on red and blue grounds or blue and red initials on gold grounds; red, blue and gold linefillers with geometric designs; capitals highlighted in red.


History note: 18th century Dutch-speaking owner (titles in Dutch on spine); Richard, seventh viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816), acquired in 1807; his bequest, 1816.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


16th Century, Early#
Circa 1500 CE - Circa 1520 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 108 mm Width 71 mm
Page Height 189 mm Width 137 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: hem aenbeden laet ons
  • Location: Fol. 15r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 144
Primary reference Number: 169685
Project ID: 80
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 4 July 2022 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-14 19:17:17

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